Jeepney drivers, operators prod SC on TRO vs PUVMP

Daphne Galvez - The Philippine Star
Jeepney drivers, operators prod SC on TRO vs PUVMP
Transport group PISTON alongside jeepney drivers and operators announces a three-day strike from November 20-23, 2023 at the Commission on Human Rights in Quezon City, Nov. 15, 2023/
Video grab from PISTON's Facebook page

MANILA, Philippines — Jeepney drivers and operators yesterday asked the Supreme Court (SC) to act on their petition for a temporary restraining order (TRO) against the government’s public utility vehicle modernization program (PUVMP) ahead of the April 30 franchise consolidation deadline.

Transport group Pagkakaisa ng mga Samahan ng Tsuper at Operators Nationwide (PISTON) held a protest rally in front of the SC along Padre Faura street in Manila.

“Let’s not wait for more PUV operators to be deep in debt due to consolidation and other inhumane schemes under the PUVMP,” Piston deputy secretary general Ruben Baylon said. “As the deadline draws near, it adds more worry to poor drivers and operators.”

President Marcos earlier declared that the franchise consolidation deadline would no longer be extended.

Jeepney units left unconsolidated into cooperatives and corporations starting May would be considered colorum and banned from plying their routes.

The PUVMP, which dates back to 2017, seeks to modernize the public transportation sector and replace jeepneys 15 years old and older, which are deemed not roadworthy by the standards of the Land Transportation Office.

PISTON filed a petition for a TRO before the SC in December 2023. The high court has yet to issue a decision.


Meanwhile, police have filed criminal charges against Manibela chairman Mar Valbuena and other members of the group for holding a two-day transport strike in Quezon City.

Complaints for violation of Batas Pambansa 880 or the Public Safety Act, alarm and scandal, resistance and disobedience as well as direct assault upon a person in authority were filed against Valbuena before the city prosecutor’s office.

Quezon City Police District director Brig. Gen. Redrico Maranan said also included in the complaint were Manibela president Regie Manlapig and members Jasmine Denition and Pacifico Martin Jr.

Maranan said they filed the cases after Valbuena’s group organized a protest rally in Quezon City on April 15 and 16 against the PUVMP.

The rally caused grave public inconvenience and disturbance as the transport group mobilized around 70 public utility jeepneys and 600 demonstrators who obstructed Commonwealth Avenue, East Avenue and Quezon Avenue.

Maranan said Manibela did not secure a permit from the city government, violating the law for public assembly. – Emmanuel Tupas

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